Review of the Samsung SC-D363 Digital Camcorder

This past school year I taught a movie making class at my local elementary school. I requested for the school to purchase a digital camcorder for the kids to use to shoot their films, and what the school decided on purchasing was the Samsung SC-D363.

I have to say overall I was pretty unimpressed with this camcorder. The camcorder is very compact in size, has a built in digital camera and a $300 price tag. It seems like this camcorder would be a great purchase, but overall I think it is not.

Video Quality

My main complaint about this camcorder is the video quality. The kids in my class all shot their own movies. I started shooting all of their movies using my four year old Canon ZR40 camcorder. Once I received the Samsung camcorder I then started shooting their films with that camcorder. You can tell an obvious difference in the video quality between the two camcorders. The video shot on the Samsung is almost all grainy. Looking at video shot by the camcorders side by side you would think the Samsung video was shot on an older VHS camcorder. Trying to edit video shot with the two camcorders together you could tell an obvious difference better the camcorders quality to a point that it was jarring to look at.

Digital Camera

The resolution of the digital camera on this camcorder is 800 by 600 pixels. I personally don’t see the point of taking the time to put a digital camera on your camcorder with a resolution this low. By comparison, you can purchase digital cameras for less the $30 with a higher resolution than 800 by 600. A resolution this low would only be good enough to put the pictures on your computer and maybe email to someone. They are nowhere near a good enough resolution to print out, and look pretty crappy even on the viewfinder on the camcorder.

The digital pictures are stored on a separate memory card, which is a plus. The memory card is not included with the camcorder however, so you would be better off spending your money on a higher resolution digital camera than purchasing a memory card.

Good Features

The camcorder is very easy to use. I was able to explain how to operate it to kindergartners and they could successfully film their own movies. The camcorder beeps when it starts recording and beeps when it stops, so it’s easy to figure out what’s going on while you film.

The camcorder also has quite a few different shooting modes that can be used to make your video quality a little better in certain shooting conditions like night and outdoors.

If you are looking for an inexpensive camcorder I think you would be better off saving your money and purchasing a camcorder with a better quality lens and CCD. While you may save a little money purchasing this Samsung, you will be disappointed with the video quality and could get a much better camcorder for just a few dollars more.

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